Faced With A Suddenly Empty Senate Seat, Maine Politicians Fall Back On Their Experience Handing Out Business Cards At Funerals

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AUGUSTA, Maine — As expected, it took less than 24 hours for Maine’s entire political landscape to be turned upside down after the sudden announcement Tuesday from U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe that she was dropping her bid for a fourth term. The three biggest names in the Maine Democratic Party all began gathering signatures to run for the U.S. Senate — 2nd District U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and former two-term Gov. John Baldacci. No new Republicans took out papers with the Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday, but Senate President Kevin Raye, now a candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, and Charlie Summers, the secretary of state himself, are considered the leading GOP candidates. Raye said late Wednesday afternoon that he had not made up his mind but he was looking closely at the Senate race. (more at BangorDailyNews)

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